A couple of weeks ago we visited Cornwall for the weekend and rather than decide where we were taking the kids, we gave them a list attractions and invited them to choose where they wanted to visit.
We haven’t been to Lands End for years and our last visit was back with Abbey, Callan and Kian were small so we were seeing it through a fresh set of eyes.
Lands End is about an hours drive from Trevella Park in Newquay and we set off fairly early as knew we had a lot to cram into our day. We drove past St Michael’s Mount and I wished we had time to go there too, but we kept to the kids wishes.
There is a £5 charge to park your car at Lands End and although you can walk around the countryside and take a stroll along the coastal path, most of the attractions cost extra. You can pay individually or pay for a family saver which cost us £30 for 6 of us.
The Shaun the Sheep Experience was probably our favourite attraction as we got to explore the amazing world of Aardman Animations.
As you walk in you discover a life-size world of Shaun the Sheep with the famous Mossy Bottom Farm. Sebastian wasn’t sure of the angry bull as when you pull the ring through his nose his eyes glow red, but throwing ‘poo” at the pigs to make them snort was hilarious. We even got to make a sheep belch!!
Hubby and Kian got hands-on experience in the animation design studio with real sets featuring models and stop-motion stations where they could trace their favourite characters, and Sebby made friends with Timmy from Timmy Time. I think the older ones would have spent the whole day in here making stop-motion videos if they had the chance.
As we moved towards the end of the Shaun the Sheep exhibition, there were models on display that had been used in the films as well as giant characters to look at.
After we had finished with Shaun the Sheep Hubby took Isaac and Kian to see the 4D Film Experience “The Lost World” which takes you back forty million years ago with fierce Raptors, flying Pterodactyls, giant Triceratops and Stegosaurus, and the mighty T-Rex all roaming this hostile world and I took Eliza and Sebby to the park. The park was very disappointing if I am honest as it is aimed at older children with zip lines and a large slide – nothing for younger children at all other than a large lifeboat that you cannot even go inside and a tiny frame to clamber up.
The film scared Isaac and he refused to make the journey through Arthur’s Quest so we headed off for a walk along the coastal path. The designated pathways lead you to find some truly breath-taking views and historical landmarks, including magnificent granite cliffs, the famous Longships Lighthouse and the Isles of Scilly if you are lucky as it is only visible on clear and sunny days.
The cliff paths are family-friendly in most places above cliffs but you do need to keep a close eye on little ones as they are not fenced in some places. I was a little disappointed that a photograph with the sign was not included in the entry price of the ticket, so the had a photo sat on the fence to show where we had been.
Our next stop was the End to End story which covers everyone from Joe Public to serious athletes who have covered the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats – or vice versa ─ in amazingly fast times. We learned about all the charity fundraisers ─ including many celebrities ─ who’ve completed the challenge in many different ways, some of them very wacky indeed.
We had a nose around the large gift shop before heading back outside the main complex towards Greeb Farm which is a 200 year-old Cornish farmstead that has been perfectly restored and is typical of the smallholdings that once dotted this part of the Cornish coastline.
Once inside the site you find a lovable collection of small animals, many wandering free and Isaac, Eliza and Sebastian loved getting up close to the sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs, miniature ponies and ferrets.
The old barn at Greeb Farm has been converted into a series of traditional Cornish craft workshops where you can take part in craft workshops for an additional charge or just treat yourself a special gift or keepsake that has been made for you.
I have to admit we were slightly disappointed by our visit, apart from the Shaun the Sheep exhibition. Land’s End now comes across as purely a money making venture with all the extra little things costing money despite paying for family pass. The last time we visited we saw a large Dr Who exhibit, witnessed a daring sea rescue and even took park in sweet making but everything was less interactive and hands on this time.
I would like to walk more of the SW Coast Path but I don’t think we will want to visit with the kids again for quite some time.